Medical Malpractice Claims
Medical malpractice law is highly specialised and is subject to legal principles and rules of procedure that differ from other areas of the law. If you're a victim of medical malpractice, it's imperative that you consult an attorney with expertise in this complex field of law.
At DSC Attorneys, our team of attorneys has extensive experience in medical malpractice claims, in South Africa and internationally. We offer skilled and effective legal representation, delivered with compassion. We also operate on a "no win, no fee" basis.
What is medical malpractice?
Medical malpractice is defined as a negligent act or omission by a medical professional that results in personal injury to a patient. It occurs when a medical professional's actions do not meet the accepted standards of practice.
It's not only medical doctors who may be responsible for medical malpractice. Negligence by other medical professionals, such as nurses, dentists, osteopaths and those responsible for conditions in health care facilities like nursing homes, may also result in personal injury.
Negligence may take the form of errors during the diagnosis, treatment or management of health conditions. It may also involve failure to obtain a patient's informed consent before undertaking a procedure or operation.
“Informed consent” exists only if a medical provider has thoroughly informed a patient about all the inherent risks, benefits and alternatives involved in any surgical or medical procedure or treatment, and that the patient has duly given written consent to proceed with the treatment.
Common medical negligence claims
Common examples of actions giving rise to medical malpractice claims include:
inappropriate intervention to address complications of labour and birth
- prescription errors
- hospital or emergency room negligence
- treatment delays
- misread x-rays or mammograms
- negligence in diagnosing and/or treating breast cancer
- plastic surgery malpractice
- dental malpractice
- paediatric malpractice
- anaesthesia malpractice
- faulty blood transfusions
- amputation of the wrong limb
- removal of the incorrect organ.
What to do if you're a victim of medical malpractice
If you believe you are a victim of medical negligence, you have the right to look at your own medical records, charts and information. These records can help you build a solid case.
It's important to determine what outcome you hope to get by pursuing a medical malpractice case, which may be lengthy and costly. If you wish simply to complain and help protect others from similar malpractice, it's best to consult the The Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA).
If you seek financial restitution for the harm you've suffered, contact one of DSC Attorneys’ experienced and professional medical negligence attorneys.